Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Battle

Arthur Brooks is an author I really admire.  Mr. Brooks is an economist that has studied the junction where social systems, and politics meet with economics.
Brooks is a born again conservative, a true believer in the Capitalist system.  While he is a numbers guy, through his study of the nexus of politics, people and money he has solidified a conservative approach that before he came was only vaguely hinted at. 

George W. mentioned Compassionate Conservatism and because of his vagueness and lack of factual knowledge not to mention lack of ability to articulate his message was roundly criticized by the left and the right.

Arthur Brooks has worked his way around from a Democrat to an Independent and if you read his works you would say a libertarian or a Republican.  He is very passionate about Capitalism.  He also has a lot of advice for Republicans on how to sell the Free Market position.

Mr. Brooks has given us a path that unites the arguments of the fiscal and moral conservatives and shows how both together and the synergy they create can be a potent force.

Simply put he thinks the Democrats win because they make their argument in moral terms whereas the Republicans end up talking about money.

Early on Brooks saw the moral superiority in Free Enterprise.  Through his books you can see how he has evolved his ideas from merely studying the facts and data from countless reports and making academic style reports to making something grander.

His book "Who Really Cares"

And his next book “Gross National Happiness”  progresses us through his thought process during his political shift.  The prodigious amount of facts and figures he has analyzed staggers the mind;  however the way he writes about them will eases the mind and his conclusions he reaches will soothe it.  He writes in other words for the laymen, his conclusions while dealing with complicated and other times ill articulated maters become easily understood.

His next book “The Battle” is a short book. 

It is easy to read and brings together Arthur C. Brooks’ ideas into a cohesive vision of what’s happening and what the battle for this country is about.

His last book, “The Road to Freedom” is a blueprint for how to get out of the mess we are in and off the path to European Socialism.
Or as Frederick Hayek would say off of “The Road to Serfdom”.

This is where he comes up with the idea that this battle has to be fought on moral grounds, as he says in a speech ( our immigrant parents didn't come over here for a better welfare state.  They came over here for the freedom to live off of their work.  To start a farm and live off of that labor.  He then jokes, they didn't come here because we have a cash for clunkers program.

In this lecture and his books he talks about how we need to talk about fairness and how our conservative programs help the individual because they are fair and the right thing to do.  He also quotes Jesus Christ Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”  Jesus Christ Mathew 25:31-40.

  The lynch pin to truly helping people is through showing at a personal level how a government that creates opportunity for entrepreneurs is a benefit to individuals.  Again the biblical idea of teaching a person to fish rather than giving them fish.  I might add not regulating and taxing a fisherman out of business too. 

He better than I writes of how Republicans and those battling for Free Enterprise if they do it in terms of moral high ground will win.  In other words, in a political setting people will be persuaded not through facts alone but facts that point to a moral conclusion, that also points to a choice that is best made not by the government but by the individual.  He talks of Earned success as the definition of Happiness and backs it up with reams of facts.

Few Republicans have been able to do that with any success in the modern age.  Ronald Reagan comes to mind.

George Will also has this quote about how big government has rigged society for big business. But, then, big government always is most caring about the strong, the articulate and the organized.”

But even Mr. Will only hints at the moral justification of smaller government.

Republicans have to learn to be more articulate about how our programs affect people on a fiscal level and how that is morally superior to what the Left has been giving them.

Clever subtleties may win the argument but will lose the war.

I think Mr. Will would read Mr. Brooks with relish.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Liberal Conservative

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